Last year Glengower Road in Hepburn Shire, was burnt as part of a CFA training exercise. This roadside is home to Spiny Rice‑flower, Pimelea spinescens subsp. spinescens, listed as critically endangered under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). On Sunday it was time to see how the plants were growing after the burn and all the effort by the CFA staff and volunteers. It had been a long un-burnt site.
These are not easy plants to find unless you have a keen eye or they are flowering. The small cream-yellow flowers appear from April to August and last year after the burn only a few were visible and some were just burnt stumps. When you see these small plants it is hard to imagine that they are reportedly so long-lived (30 to 50 years and possibly up to 100 years).
This season they are looking very healthy and are flowering profusely. Their long life is down to their very large tap root which may be up to 1.5m deep and it also gives them the ability to survive fire, if it is not too frequent. Male and female plants are required for reproduction along with the right pollinators.
The spiny rice‑flower occurs in grassland habitats mostly on basalt-derived soils in south-western Victoria and sedimentary soils in north-central Victoria according to the Nationally Threatened Species and Ecological Communities EPBC Act policy statement 3.11 (2009).
The Friends of Forgotten Woodlands Annual General Meeting will be held at 7.30 – 9.00 pm Monday 4 September 2017 Agenda. The location is the Ballarat Technology Park Central building which is Building T (hatched purple on Campus map -SMB).
Adam Miller will be speaking about Banksia Genetics.
Parking is off Armstrong St South, Ballarat, and the Conference room is located on Level 1 of the building.
RSVP to Aggie, Secretary FoFW by 31 August on 0435 537 443.
The subscription form and deductible gift recipient information are on this link
This 3 day course has a great line up of presenters and provides an opportunity to learn about Victorian Volcanic Plains grasslands, grassy wetlands, Aboriginal cultural heritage and geology and soils. Numbers are limited. Registration form GA VVP Grassland Event 2017
In the meantime if you work in local government or even if you are a ratepayer with an interest in seeing better environmental outcomes have a look at the ‘conserving our rural environment’ grant program run by Hume City Council. The grant program which aims to conserve and improve rural land and the natural environmental assets on private property arose from a sustainable rate rebate program but it was seen as better value for money to invest directly in onground works.
VicRoads are looking for sites where murnong is growing on the roadsides that they manage. There is project to provide some interpretive signage about the value of yam daisies. If you have current records or know of any sites, please contact John Tunn, Safety, Environment & Quality Officer, VicRoads email@example.com
Sometimes it is easy to confuse a yam daisy with a flatweed. Yam daisies have finer leaves and the flower buds have a bend in the stem before they open up.
Here is a great example of how to make a difference to our biodiversity knowledge. Lisette who occasionally sends me articles of interest, was on a recent excursion with students of SW Tafe Vocation Education Training in Schools Program Warrnambool, on The Green Line Project at Woolsthorpe recently, and came across some caterpillars.
She went the extra ‘mile’ and tracked down 2 Victorian moth experts to identify the caterpillars. When the data is uploaded onto the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) it will be the first new record since 1966 in the area from Halls Gap to Nelson. Here is a link to see a photo of the moth, Eyespot Anthelid (Anthela ocellata). The larvae feed on various grasses.
If you have the time it is well worth adding records onto either the ALA or the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.